WICHITA, Kan. - The latest flight to honor military veterans leaves Wichita for Washington Wednesday morning.
The Kansas Honor Flights allow veterans to see the landmarks and monuments of the U.S. capital free of charge. The flights have passengers who have served in many places over the years. For 20-year-old Cole Hershberger, this trip offers a chance to hear his grandfather's stories.
"I know there's a lot of inspiring sites to see in Washington DC, and I wouldn't have thought to turn down an opportunity to go see them with my grandfather," Hershberger said.
The 8:00 a.m. takeoff time meant an early wake-up call for passengers and volunteers. Organizers tell us one passenger on this flight is a retired soldier who is 101 years old. Ryan Head lives in Manhattan, and fought in the Battle of the Bulge during World War Two.
Head showed up in his old Army uniform, which he says he wears anytime he has the opportunity because he's proud of it. While he's looking forward to visiting the memorials, he has a different motive inspiring his trip.
"I want to do it for my daughter, not me," Head said. "I adopted her there in Washington, and she's never been back since then. This is her first trip there, so that's why I'm elated about going back now."
Honor Flight organizers are encouraging people to give the vets a hero's welcome when they return to Mid-Continent Airport Friday. You're asked to arrive at the terminal around 10:00 a.m.